Local News – Stormy weather; New Laws; Gas Prices

Coast Radio News
Local News

Plenty more rain…

About an inch-and-a-half of rain fell in the Florence area over the past 24-hours and weather forecasters say there’s more on the way.  A series of storms moving in rapid succession will continue to sweep in from the south west between now and late tomorrow night bringing breezy conditions and heavy rains.

The National Weather Service is saying there is some potential for flooding in low-lying areas over the next couple of days as streams try to accommodate what could be as many as ten inches of accumulation in the mountains over the next few days.  At mid-morning the Siuslaw River was at just over seven feet at the river gauge above Mapleton… well below the flood stage of 18-feet.  It did begin to rise rapidly overnight, but is expected to crest at 10.4 feet over the weekend.

Hang up and drive…

Dozens of new laws will take effect this weekend in Oregon.  A loophole in the statewide ban on cell phone use while driving will go away as motorists will no longer be able to skirt a fine by claiming talking while driving is necessary for their job.  Instead that privilege will be reserved for emergency workers and tow truck drivers.  911 calls will still be legal while you’re driving.

Another new law will require drivers who enter a diversion program instead of jail for driving under the influence of alcohol to get a breath-test machine installed in their car.  Another change come January First… Oregon’s minimum wage will increase by 30-cents an hour to $8.80.

Gas prices falling, but still at record levels for this time of year…

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped by 19-cents in the past two weeks… as of this morning it was at $3.24.  That’s 14- cents lower than the statewide average as measured by Triple-A.  That organization says both prices are still considerably higher than a year ago when motorists wrapped up 2010 with a statewide average of $3.07… and the average price in Florence was $2.92.  Triple A says the national average actually increased by two-cents in the past week… it’s at $3.23 a gallon.

Prep Schedule

Prep boys’ basketball is on the court tonight in Coos Bay as the Siuslaw Vikings face the Marshfield Pirates at the Les Schwab South Coast Holiday Tournament.  The two teams will wrap up play in the final game of the opening day at 8:45… the game will air on Coast Radio Sports beginning at 8:30.

Ready for Roses… 

Wisconsin and Oregon returned to the Rose Bowl this week, each team determined to succeed on the fabled field after losing in the most recent trips there.  But first, they had to conquer the Matterhorn and whirling teacups.  The number six ranked Ducks and the ninth ranked Badgers… both teams are at 11-and-2… descended on Disneyland yesterday for the traditional start to the Rose Bowl Week festivities.  The Badgers were there last year where they lost to TCU.  Oregon was there two years ago and lost to Ohio State.  They kick off Monday afternoon at 2:15.